I've said before that we eat a lot of yogurt. About a gallon a week. I did a whole post some time back about making yogurt in the crockpot, which is so ridiculously easy, and so much cheaper than buying it, even in the big Nancy's yogurt containers I used to buy every week.
But then I melted the electrical cord to my crockpot, so it was out of commission for a couple weeks. Avery and Grandpa Randy fixed it, but it seemed like it was working better than it had been before- well, hotter, or faster, or something. The milk was getting cooked to the bottom of the crock. And let me tell you- yogurt with little chunks of burned milk in it is not a taste sensation you'd want to repeat! And pouring $5.49 in organic milk down the drain makes me sad. Very, very sad. Heating the milk on low worked better, but oh! so slow. So unbearably slow. So I started buying yogurt again. Ugh. I hate buying things I can make better and cheaper at home. Which is one reason why we hardly ever eat out unless we go to the city. Don't even get me started!
Then I remembered my friend Jennifer- she makes it in the cooler. So easy! Not quite as easy as the crockpot method, but more predictable, at least with my hyper-functioning crockpot. Just heat up the milk to 170, place the pot and all in the sink (or my big blue basin) and dump some ice around to cool it quickly, skimming off any skin that might form. Stir in the yogurt starter (and honey and vanilla if wanted), pour into containers, place in a cooler with jars of hot tap water. In the morning- lovely thick, creamy, smooth, burned-milk-bitless yogurt. Hooray!